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Teen Traffic Fatalities Down 50 Percent in Last Five Years

Fatal car crashes involving teen drivers has declined by more than 50 percent over the last five years, an effect that officials attribute at least...
November 2, 2010

Fatal car crashes involving teen drivers has declined by more than 50 percent over the last five years, an effect that officials attribute at least in part to the recession. While the federal report credits the drop to tougher state limits on younger drivers, California officials also attribute the significant decline to the recession, noting that fatal car crashes have declined for all age groups.

According to the new federal report, the number of highway deaths in California declined from 145 in 2004 to 67 in 2008, exceeding the national decline by approximately one third. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the number of deaths linked to teen driver accidents in the U.S. declined from approximately 2,200 in 2004 to 1,400 in 2008. The new report accounts for accidents with drivers 16 or 17 years of age and covers the period of 2004 to 2008, the last year for which driver fatality statistics are available  The report shows that California, New Jersey and New York had very low rates of teens involved in accidents, which could be attributed to licensing policies. New Jersey is the only state where the minimum licensing age is 17. In New York City drivers must be 18 to be licensed unless they have taken a state approved driver education course and meet other requirements allowing them to be licensed at 17.

Click here to read "Fatal Car Crashes Involving Teen Drivers Drop" (Los Angeles Daily News 10/21/10)